So Where’s The Cure?

Good day, everyone. I’ve been extremely busy over the past few weeks as I’m still getting adjusted to a few new things but I wanted to take a few minutes today to share something with everyone that I’ve been working on for quite a while and am extremely excited to announce that it’s finally ready to go.

A few months back, I was approached by my aunt, Cinda Thompson, to help out with a book that she’d been wanting to put out for quite some time. If you’re unaware of who she is, she’s a very talented writer whose poetry, short stories and memoirs have been featured in numerous publications over the years, including in a national best-selling anthology, When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple. I’ve done some work for her in the past, finally getting some of her work out there on a digital platform. She’d been wanting to get her work online but just didn’t know how to go about it which is where I came in. About a year ago at this time, we launched Living The Revolution, which houses the majority of the work she’s ever done, including the poetry from her poetry book, At The Core, which was released many years ago.

I also created a focused blog for her, Diabetes: A Life Sentence?, where she writes posts from time to time about her more than 50-year battle with Type 1 Diabetes, which is also the focus of her latest and biggest project to date, So Where’s The Cure?, a new book with nine incredible stories about her battle with this terrible disease. Using the subtitle “Memories Of A Life With Type 1 Diabetes”, So Where’s The Cure looks at Cinda’s original diagnosis at just 11 years old and is filled with amazing tales of life, love, loss and heartache while also discussing the diets, medicines and costs associated with T1D, bringing a fantastic mix of everything you need to know about what she’s had to deal on a day-to-day basis for more than five decades. ol

And as far as my involvement goes, I was extremely honored to be a part of this project as the publisher. After being given all of the source material, it was my job to design and format the entire book to get it ready to go to print, which is actually a little more work than you might think. We had to take into account the audience that we were looking at, which we decided would need a bigger font size which changes a lot of different things as it pertains to margins and such when you’re putting a book together. There’s how much space you want after a paragraph, what kind of spacing you need within each paragraph, how the pictures that we wanted to use would fit and where they needed to be. We ran through a few different fonts for appearance and there’s spacing issues when transitioning from each format that have to be dealt with, which results in having to look at each and every page over and over and over to make sure that we’ve got everything done just right before going to the printer and after having seen the finished product, I’m happy to say that I think we got it just right.

Now, I’ve been doing the online thing for a while now and while it’s great to have hundreds upon hundreds of articles with my name attached to it, there’s just a little something extra to seeing your name in print, especially on that back cover that I designed, which is something I haven’t seen since those poetry books I was in more than 10 years ago.

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While it was great to work on the project and receive a little bit of recognition for it, the credit here really does belong to Cinda. While the formatting and design and all of that is important, it’s the content here that really matters and it truly is exceptional. If you’re someone that suffers from diabetes or know anyone that suffers from diabetes, I highly recommend that you give this book a read. To order a copy, at the bargain price of $12.00 in print, you can contact Cinda on her websites or you can order one through me right here. I bet I can even get her to sign it for you as I made her do it for me. In addition, I also formatted So Where’s The Cure? as an e-book and you can order a digital copy of it for Amazon Kindle using this link for just $9.99.

I want to thank Cinda for the opportunity to work on this project with her. It truly was a great experience for me and I certainly learned a lot in the process about publishing, both in the print and digital world and even more importantly, I learned a little bit more about how this disease can have such an impact on a life.

Do yourself a favor. Check out So Where’s The Cure? and help support a great cause as the majority of the proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The JDRF Walk here in Peoria, IL just took place over the weekend and was actually the location in which this book debuted. The JDRF is determined to turn Type One into Type None and this is a great way to help. And don’t forget that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and this would make a great gift for someone you might know that could relate to the types of things that Cinda has had to deal with. Congratulations to Cinda on a job well done.

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My Response to Michael Wilbon’s Rant Against Bloggers

If you know me, and I think a lot of you do by now, you know that I’m normally not one for confrontation in my writing. There’s a reason why I don’t write a lot of political pieces and I tend to stay neutral on a lot of controversial topics. I like to entertain when I can. I write a lot on sports because it’s something I enjoy, so when I hear somebody like ESPN’s Michael Wilbon say the things he said recently about people like me, I wasn’t going to just let it go. After clearing it with my editor at Sports Mockery, one of the many websites I write on sports for, I wrote my response and I personally invite you to check it out. I will warn you that it’s a little lengthy, but believe me, it needed to be. I’ve got your “mother’s basement” right here, Mike.

Michael Wilbon Wants To Call Out Bloggers? Here I Am

Look What I Found

If you read The 2015 State of The Luke Norris Address, then you know that I’ve decided to devote my time and energy to really give this writing thing a shot. I can’t begin to express the gratitude I feel towards those of you who have sent along your kind words and support. Throughout these first few weeks since making the decision, I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not this is the right thing to do, but I recently came across something that let me know that it truly is.

I only had one copy of the first book I was ever published in back in 2003, which I signed and gave to my mother. In a recent visit, I picked it up to take a look at it, which I hadn’t done in a long time. Next to my poem, “Divinity“, I read the quote I gave to the publisher to stand next to my work. This is what I wrote twelve years ago:

“My feelings and opinions may be different than everybody else’s, but they certainly are mine and writing is a way to convey them to the world. From love to hate to happiness to sadness, I’ll write about anything as long as I feel it’s important to me. It may be a million to one shot for me to make it with this, but that doesn’t stop me from writing because simply put, I love to do it. Maybe it’s just my opinion, but when you love something that much, you don’t just give up.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Wait, what? Anyway, reading this only reaffirmed that I’m making the right choice. I let my passion slip away once and I won’t let that happen again. With that being said, I’ve got some big news coming later in the week. Stay tuned, folks. You’re about to see a lot more of me.

 

A Busy Week at Binge

As I said earlier in the week, I’m going to start posting links to the work that I do at Binge Media as often as I can. And I had a busy week over there with the sports stuff.

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On Wednesday, I wrote previews for the upcoming weekend’s games in the NFL Playoffs. Click the link below to check it out and you can also vote for who you think is going to win.

http://bingemedia.net/2015/01/07/binge-sports-nfl-playoffs-the-divisional-round-fan-vote/

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Yesterday, I wrote my fourth story on Lauren Hill. If you don’t know this story, please follow the link below to check it out. This story also has the links to the first three. She is so unbelievably inspiring.

http://bingemedia.net/2015/01/08/binge-sports-coach-lauren-hill/

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And just today, I gave readers another chance to vote for the winner of the College Football Playoff National Championship between Oregon and Ohio State. Click the link below to cast your vote.

http://bingemedia.net/2015/01/09/college-football-playoff-national-championship-game-oregon-v-ohio-state-fan-vote/

They’ll be some more things from Binge Media over the next week or so and you can always check out the latest by following me @BingeSports and/or @THElukenorris, but also stay tuned for the 2015 version of “The State of THE Luke Norris Address”, coming soon to The Luke Norris Experience. As always, I thank you for your continued support. I’ll see you soon.

 

Merry New Year!!

If you think the title is wrong, then you’ve never seen Trading Places and that’s your fault, not mine. But I digress.

I’m short on time, so I won’t keep you long. I’ve got a couple hours of driving ahead of me as I’m headed north to spend the new year with some of my favorite people in the world and I’m pretty excited about that.

I could spend this time breaking down my 2014 and believe me, there’s plenty to break down. I could go over my road trip or my new job or how much the kids have grown. There were certainly some surprises, some positives and some negatives, but I’ll hang onto that for a few weeks when I bring you the 2015 The State of The Luke Norris Address. If you’re not familiar with the 2014 version, click HERE.

But all I really want to accomplish today is to tell everybody that’s reading this that I hope you had a wonderful 2014. I know it gets hard from time to time for everybody, but I hope you were able to fight through and come out smiling.

I also ask one favor from all of you. Be safe tonight. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about making some bad decisions. Some of those can be the most fun, but just don’t make getting in a car and driving one of them. It’s just not worth it. Beyond that, do what you do and I hope you’ve got someone to share tonight with.

Well, that will do it in 2014 for The Luke Norris Experience. And don’t forget to keep checking me out at bingemedia.net. I wish every single one of you the best 2015 you can possibly have and I’ll see you on the other side of midnight. But for now, I’m out the door. Have fun kids.

‘Twas The Night I Wrote A Letter To Santa

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, as I sat in my house

Writing a letter to Santa, this is how it came out:

Dear Santa, I know that you’re busy, but I just need a minute

First, I don’t want to know a world that doesn’t have you in it.

The rosy cheeks, the cherry nose, the merry dimples

Take me back to a time when life was so simple.

So full of joy, that bowl full of jelly,

” But Santa’s not real” is what they continue to tell me.

But I’ll always believe, maybe that’s just me

I suppose this is when I tell you what I need.

I don’t really need presents, but this is the thing

What I really want are things you can’t bring.

I want to stop being sad every time my kids go,

I want to forgive myself for the things no one knows.

I want to forget some of the things that I’ve seen,

From tears to a last breath and things in between.

I don’t want pity, and I don’t want to be too sappy

But all that I want is for people to be happy.

I think I’ve been a good boy, and believe me when I say

That’s all people want at the end of the day.

But please don’t think that I don’t have it good,

I’ve got people that love me, as everybody should.

I’ve got bills that are paid, a roof and a floor,

I’ve got a job and a car, and oh so much more.

But some people don’t, and this is what I ask,

Can you take care of them, is that an easy enough task?

There’s people that I know that deserve so much more,

Whether it’s love or just a break, is that so much to ask for?

I know it’s not your job to provide these things,

But maybe some hope is what you could bring

To those who need you, because overall, I don’t,

And to those who tell me to stop believing, I won’t.

So as my daughters sleep in their beds tonight, go ahead and pass us by,

I’ll take care of things down here, just go to those who cry.

I raise my glass to you, good sir, as you ride with such delight,

Merry Christmas to all, here’s to the good life.

 

 

 

 

A Talk With Pop

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Hey Pop, I’m sorry that I was so quiet at the cemetery today. Honestly, I really don’t know what to say sometimes when I’m there. I think maybe it’s because I still think from time to time that you’re going to talk back, and that’s one of the hardest parts of the past two years. The fact that we can’t engage in one of our epic conversations is still really difficult for me. Even as I’m sitting here attempting to write this, I’m not quite sure what to say. I guess what I really want to tell you is that maybe I’m still not quite past your passing. I’m trying really hard to get there, but I think there may always be a little part of me that will always be angry with myself for not getting past some things that happened between us a hell of a lot earlier than I did. I think that’s why I wrote what I did last year about forgiveness and I really did mean it. Or maybe I just miss you more than I could ever fully express and everything I just wrote is complete nonsense.

But overall, Pop, I’m doing okay. There’s still some things that get at me but I know I’m better than I used to be. I really wish you were here to see how much the girls have grown. They’re just getting so big so fast. And they’re so smart and so beautiful. It pains me to no end when they have to leave every week. Honestly, that’s a feeling that I know I’ll never be able to shake, but I think that can be a good thing.  The fact that I cry every single Wednesday lets me know how much I love them, I think.  They really are amazing and I know they would just love you so much and I know that Patrick and Dominic would too. You would be so proud of Kimberly. She is an amazing mother and I don’t think our relationship has ever been better. It’s so amazing when the four kids are together and I know that would make you very happy. Matt has got some very cool things going on as well and you would be so proud of the man he’s becoming. And Mom is still Mom. She’s the most amazing grandmother to these kids and still the best mother a guy could ever hope for.

I still contact Patti from time to time and she seems to be doing okay. A very cool thing is that I’ve actually hung out with Angie a few times (she’s a grown woman and actually calls me “Uncle Lukey”, which I know you would find as hysterical and adorable as I do) and met my great-nieces. They actually came out to my birthday party for a little bit. And just this morning, Derek messaged me asking for a copy of the video I made about you. He says that he wished he could have had a relationship with you and I’m sure that would have happened. I’m extremely proud that you chose to get back in touch with Patti after all those years and I’m happy I was able to be there for it.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that even though life always goes on, there are so many people that wish you were here to witness it. And as for me, I’m still just a boy that wishes his daddy was here. Through everything that happened, I always loved you and I always will. There was so much good in you, even if it was easier sometimes to see the other side. That’s what I forgot sometimes, but never again. There’s so much that you passed down to me and as the son became a father, I can only hope that Ashlyn and Brooklyn love me as much as I love you. I miss you every day Pop, and for that, I know I’ll never have to be sorry.